Make the ultimate comfort food for your family: Homemade Shepherd’s Pie (or Cottage Pie) with ground beef – simple, yummy and easy to make. You can even make a double batch and freeze one for later!
The Best Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
Is there anything better than comfort food? Maybe the kind of comfort food like those perfect mashed potatoes I shared last week? Not much better than that if you ask me. Only if you put said mashed potatoes on top of a shepherd’s pie, maybe. And that’s exactly what we’re doing here!
My recipe is made with a delicious filling: Ground beef, onions, carrots, celery and peas – all wrapped in a rich gravy. Then, I top it with my Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes (or regular mashed potatoes, if you’re not an instant-potter 😉) and with cheddar cheese. Simple, but so comforting!
Watch the video tutorial:
We’re all about the cozy casseroles during winter around here. My kids especially are huge fans of this simple shepherd’s pie – and I usually make two while I’m at it, so I can freeze one for later! For other easy and cozy casseroles, see my Baked Ziti with Sausage or my Homemade Chicken Pot Pie.
It might we worth telling you right now that the technical term for this recipe is actually cottage pie (made with ground beef) and not authentic shepherd’s pie (made with ground lamb).
But my mission here on Savory Nothings is always to share recipes real people with a real grocery budget and a regular grocery store and an everyday exhausting kids/work/life situation can make.
So, here it is. Fake Shepherd’s Pie. Aka Homemade Shepherd’s Pie with ground beef. One that’s simple and affordable and delicious. It is the best ❤️
If you’re looking for the best side dishes to round out your meal, these are our favorites:
- Sautéed Green Beans
- Crockpot Glazed Carrots
- Traditional Irish Soda Bread
- A salad with Honey Mustard Salad Dressing
Make the ultimate comfort food for your family: Homemade Shepherd's Pie (or Cottage Pie) with ground beef - simple, yummy and easy to make.
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- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, finely diced
- 2 stalks celery, finely diced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground paprika
- ground black pepper , to taste
- 2 tablespoons white flour
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/3 cup red wine
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
- 4 cups mashed potatoes, (click for my recipe and you'll have some leftovers to sneak during cooking)
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Brown meat and vegetables: Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large, deep skillet. Add the beef and cook until browned and all the meat juices have evaporated. Add the garlic, onions, carrots and celery and continue cooking until the veggies are starting to soften.
- Season: Sprinkle the salt, paprika, pepper and flour over the pan. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring all the time, until it smells roasted (about 1 minute).
- Deglaze the pan: Pour the red wine over the meat and veggies, scratching the browned bits off the bottom. Bring to a boil and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the broth and simmer for 4-5 minutes, or until a thick gravy has formed.
- Finish the filling: Stir in the peas and herbs. Check for seasoning, then spread in a 7x11 baking dish and set aside until cooled.
- Prep mash: In the meantime, make your favorite mashed potatoes. You need about 4 cups of mash to top off the casserole. About 1.5 pounds of peeled potatoes should yield enough.
- Bake pie: Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Spread the mashed potatoes over the cold filling. (Be careful not to mix up the two.) Sprinkle with the cheese. Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes or until golden.
Make Ahead Instructions:
Assemble the entire pie as directed in the recipe, right up to the finally baking step.
Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days, then bake at 400°F for 30-40 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the top is golden.
Prepare as directed in the recipe, right up to the final baking step. Wrap well with foil and then aluminum foil. Label and freeze for up to 2 months.
To reheat: No need to defrost! Remove both foils, then replace the aluminum foil. Bake at 400°F with the foil on for 1 hour. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes, until browned.
Don't be scared of adding some color:
Make sure to brown the meat and vegetables well for the most intense flavors
Do not skip cooling the filling:
This is how you keep the layers in shepherd's pie from mixing; depending on the dish and the room temperature, cool it for 15-30 minutes (sometimes I put mine outside in the winter, it's cold in 15 minutes!)
For a gluten-free friendly version, use cornstarch in place of the flour. Be sure to check all of your ingredients to make sure they're gluten free (especially the beef broth! you can use water if you don't have any).
If you don’t like peas, it’s also delicious with chopped green beans.
I hear people make this low carb by using mashed cauliflower they whisk together with 1 egg yolk in place of the mashed potatoes. I love my potatoes, but your call 😉
You can also make this vegetarian by using 2 cups of cooked, brown lentils in place of the ground beef and vegetable broth in place of the beef broth.
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Serving Size:6 people
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 377 Saturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 56mg Sodium: 562mg Carbohydrates: 45g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 6g Protein: 24g
Try these comfort food dinners next:
- Crockpot Beef Tips and Mushroom Gravy
- Instant Pot Irish Stew
- Slow Cooker Irish Beef Stew
- Instant Pot Potato Soup
- Easy Swedish Meatballs
- Crock Pot Beef Stew
Or check out our collection of easy dinner recipes with ground beef for more ideas!